Tuesday, February 22, 2011

chocolate chip pecan bars

I was seriously suspicious of these bars in the March issue of Food and Wine because they were being presented as a healthy alternative. For one they aren't so healthy. Secondly, when baked goods are said to be "healthy" they are usually missing something essential. But because they were a staff favorite I thought it was worth a try. I need to post the whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies that have being all over the blogosphere as of late but I'll start with this recipe instead. They are quite good. Canola oil in cookies is a bit strange and I don't like thinking about it but I think it helped keep the bars from getting too dry. The best part is that they are incredibly simple to make.

Chocolate chip pecan bars
via Food and Wine
1 cup pecans
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat the oven to 350° and line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until golden. Chop the pecans and let cool.
2.In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the butter and oil with the granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and salt; beat the dry ingredients into the mixer at low speed. Add the chocolate chips and pecans; beat just until incorporated.
3.Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and nearly set in the center. Let cool completely, then run a knife around the edges and invert the rectangle. Peel off the paper and invert onto a cutting board. Cut and serve.

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